Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Building leadership among Indigenous women

Joint Media Release with:

  • Jim Turnour MP, Member for Leichhardt

Up to 70 Indigenous women from Cape York communities are being offered the opportunity to participate in a leadership workshop in May.

Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs Minister Jenny Macklin announced details of the workshop during a visit to Cape York with the Member for Leichhardt Jim Turnour.

“The workshop will give Cape York Indigenous women the chance to acquire important leadership skills which are vital for the future of their communities.” Ms Macklin said.

“These include personal leadership, values, vision and goal-setting along with skills to promote community development, working with stakeholders, influencing others and leadership within the family.

“I understand the critical role played by Indigenous women play as leaders and agents for change in their families and local communities.

“The Australian Government is committed to helping Indigenous women develop and grow their leadership skills.

“We need to enlist their strength and determination if we are to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

“Women like those who will be participating in the May leadership workshop can bring about change and improvement within their communities.

“I want to make sure they have the skills they need to do this,” Ms Macklin said.

Member for Leichhardt Jim Turnour, who was in Aurukun with Ms Macklin, said the workshop would also focus on the welfare reform trial which begins in the four communities of Hopevale, Aurukun, Coen and Mossman Gorge in July.

“We understand that the support of Indigenous women is essential for the success of the trial,” Mr Turnour said.

“Many have already indicated their support for the welfare reform trial which will be implemented under the Queensland Government’s Family Responsibilities Commission.

Under the trial, parents who abuse or neglect their children, fail to send them to school or are found guilty of a crime by a magistrate can be referred to the Commission for a ruling – ranging from warnings to having welfare payments managed for them for up to 12 months.

“We want to give local women every support we can because we understand that they are at the frontline in tackling the enormous social challenges in their communities,” Mr Turnour said.